How many CEOs want to be CMOs? Question crops up at Octane event

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(L-R) Manish Kalra, Head Marketing, Makemytrip.com, Vijay Thadani, Founder & CEO, NIIT, Rajesh Kumar, CMO, SAP South Asia

Octane Research launched its third annual e-Marketing Research Report for India last weekend taking 500 marketers on board for the same, claiming to be the largest CMO research of its kind in the country. Majority, that is 26 per cent of the participating companies are retail and distribution and 24 per cent consist of services and consulting, while real estate, automobiles and healthcare and pharmaceuticals shared only two per cent each out of the participation pie.  The report consolidated data from many more industry verticals such as BFSI, telecommunications, manufacturing, IT and ITES, education and media and entertainment among others.

ComScore India revealed that in the period of July 2011 to July 2012, India has been the fastest growing online market registering a growth of 41 per cent over the period of July 2010 to

July 2011. Three in every five internet users in India visit retail websites (a growth of 43 per cent over the last year) while online.

Graph-2“We need more research and data to establish the baseline for the marketer community and the CMO’s leadership journey in India”, said Punit Modhgil, Director Octane.in and Editor, India Marketing Review. In his presentation Modhgil threw light upon certain points in the report and reiterated that 50 per cent of marketers opt for customer acquisition over customer retention or brand awareness.

Delving deeper, he added that more than half the marketers will use email marketing to acquire new customers, whereas 32 per cent will depend upon social media, videos and webcasts for increasing brand awareness in 2013. Affirming on the same Manish Kalra, Head Marketing, Makemytrip.com said that, email marketing continues to be an important channel for demand generation while integrated communication even including offline and online continues to be the key.

Primary marketing goal for 2013


“With the hype on digital, the events outperform other activities in our customer relationship programs,” said Rajesh Kumar, CMO, SAP South Asia, in regards to an earlier comment by Kalra, who said that there are no marketing trends, just consumer trends and marketers need to respond to them.

Since the report has ideas and perspectives shared  by CMOs, VP Marketing, Marketing Heads and Marketing Managers from 412 companies in India, out of which Octane claims to have inputs from 36 per cent  top level officials. Vijay Thadani, Founder & CEO, NIIT, said that there is nobody who knows the customer better than the CEO. “Hence marketing needs to flow out of this understanding of customers’ needs and how CEO’s should become CMOs,” he added and went onto asking, “Today how many CEOs want to become CMOs?” He said that an integration of both has to happen for any company to flourish, “delivering understated experiences and not over the top hype is the key good marketing in the new normal,” he said.

According to the report, social media continued to surge in 2012-13 with 65 per cent of the participants ready to put in more into the platform compared to 37 percent  last year.

Even with the popular social media, 99 per cent of the marketers divulged that email marketing programs were effective in meeting desired goals in 2012, with SMS and Email projected to play a major role in their marketing strategy for this year.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) there were 92.93 crore mobile phone subscribers in India in July 2012.

As we are moving into the era of multi screens, 75 per cent of all marketers questioned said that  approximately 50 per cent of all email marketing messages will be viewed on mobile phones. 92 per cent are adapting by taking up novel initiatives related to this platform.

As per the report 68 per cent of the companies represented in the survey, email marketing contributes up to 30 per cent  towards the overall sales revenue. Additionally, close to 61 per cent the companies will give their email or mobile marketing budgets a boost of 5-20 per cent for the current year.

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